Canada Graduate Scholarships to Honour Nelson Mandela 2015 Recipients

In 2015, SSHRC and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) awarded 20 inaugural scholarships to graduate students at the master’s and doctoral levels, in honour of the late Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa and anti-apartheid leader.

The Canada Graduate Scholarships to Honour Nelson Mandela were announced following the death of the South African leader in December 2013. Here are profiles of four of the recipients, which pay tribute to Mandela’s legacy and pursuit of peace, democracy and freedom through learning.


Patrick Balazo
Dalhousie University



Statelessness, human rights and the paradox of sovereignty: The benefits of citizenship acquisition among previously stateless peoples in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh

In light of the ongoing United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ global campaign to end statelessness by 2024, Patrick Balazo’s research explores the benefits of gaining citizenship for stateless persons in South Asia. In particular, he will look at whether this has led to a more active observance of their most fundamental human rights.

“I view this award as an opportunity both to honour the legacy of Nelson Mandela, and, in my own small way, contribute to the advancement of fundamental human rights.”

Yan Grenier
Université Laval



For an ontological anthropology of disability: mobility issues experienced by persons with disabilities in Quebec City

Yan Grenier’s research will examine the impact of Quebec City’s transportation infrastructure on the conditions under which social participation and rights are exercised by persons with disabilities, as well as the development of the barriers and challenges they face in seeking greater social inclusion.

“I hope my research on the mobility of persons with disabilities will contribute to reducing the daily challenges they face and that hinder their social participation.”

Ildiko Kovacs
The University of British Columbia



Children and youth in the city

Ildiko Kovacs will explore how engaging children and youth in urban planning can have potential educational benefits and promote community building. More specifically, her study will examine the overarching benefits to young people participating in planning initiatives. She will explore how meaningful engagement in a planning project can be a form of sustainability education, and how this can promote community and civic engagement. Kovacs will also look at how, through hands-on learning, collaboration and dialogue, children can develop an in-depth understanding of life in culturally diverse societies.

“Borrowing Nelson Mandela’s words, I never cease to ask myself, or any researcher, in fact: is our work helping to build the equitable and just world he envisioned?”

Jessica Reid
Trent University



The influence of visiting imprisoned parents on children's attachment, internalizing symptoms and delinquency

Despite the growing frequency of parental imprisonment and the cycle of intergenerational crime, children with parents in prison are an understudied population, particularly in Canada. Jessica Reid’s research will expand our understanding of how parental imprisonment affects attachment security, internalizing symptoms and delinquency in children. It will also provide insight into the differing experiences of sons and daughters with a parent in prison. Jessica will also examine the role of visiting parents in prison in reducing the effects on children of parental incarceration.

Jessica Reid is a founder of Fostering, Empowering, and Advocating Together (FEAT) for Children of Incarcerated Parents, a group that supports at-risk children and youth in Ontario with a parent in prison.

“Receiving this prestigious Nelson Mandela distinction is an honour. It will help to raise awareness on the need to support children affected by parental incarceration, and, hopefully, break the cycle of intergenerational crime.”

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